Email Marketing Data Pain Points and How to Overcome Them

Written by: Chris Donald

Data is the lifeblood of email marketing. Without data, email marketing is nothing more than a wing and a prayer. After all, without data, you can’t:

  • Win back disengaged customers
  • Target your best customers with specialized offers
  • Bring back cart abandoners to complete their purchases.

These are just a few of the ways data enables great email marketing programs. Yet collecting data can be a bit of a bear. The pain points that can arise from what data you collect, how you collect the data, and where that data is stored make your decisions and answers to these questions all the more important.

Let’s start with question #1: What kind of data should you collect?

It’s a great idea to collect (beyond the obvious email address):

  1. Basic Demographic data like name, age, gender, geographic location, marital status, etc.
  2. Purchase data like past purchases, time elapsed since the last purchase, kind of products purchased, cart abandonment, average value of the purchases, etc.
  3. Preferences of email frequency, time of checking email, the device used, etc.
  4. Behavioral data such as emails opened and clicked, and the number of unsubscribes.

All this data sounds great… which leads to the next question: How can you collect this data?

Some great ideas for how to collect data are:

  • Including an email signup form whenever a customer makes the first purchase from you.
  • Asking for customer details when they download a resource from your website.
  • Social media, online contests, promotions on a partner website, and webinars can be conducted to collect email addresses.
  • Trade shows, conferences, and events are also a great source of email data.

These ideas lead us to our third question: Where should my data be stored?

Typically, most data you’ll collect will be stored in web forms, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and your ESP. Ultimately, it’s up to you where data is stored. Problems arise when data is collected in different systems and these systems don’t “talk” to each other.

Data integration between systems becomes critical, particularly when it comes to leveraging data for messaging to your customers. Successful data integration better enables you to send more relevant email marketing campaigns to your customers and also allows you to better automate your triggered email marketing programs.

Here’s an example of why connecting your shopping cart to your email marketing program is a great idea:

  1. Nearly half of the cart abandonment emails are opened.
  2. 11.6% of all cart abandonment emails are clicked.
  3. The AOV of recovered purchases is 14.2% higher than typical purchases.

With no data integration, a cart abandonment program isn’t possible. And why miss out on this great ROI generator like the engaging cart abandonment email below:

chubbies cart abandonment email

Data enables list segmentation, proper targeting, and increased relevance in your email messaging. It also gives you the ability to create all of those wonderful automated email marketing programs you keep hearing about (from us and others!).


InboxArmy can help you with integrations between your various databases and systems. We can also help you evaluate email service providers that best fit your needs and ROI goals. Trust us with your email automation and custom integration needs.

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies.

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